Explosions in Equatorial Guinea kill at least 20, injure hundreds

Sunday, March 7, 2021

At least 20 people are dead and hundreds of others are hospitalized following a series of explosions at a military camp in Equatorial Guinea Sunday evening, according to officials.

Residents were seen going through rubble to find survivors while others were helping transport the wounded to hospitals.

It was not immediately clear what caused the explosions in the city of Bata that sent smoke into the air and destroyed several buildings.

President Teodoro Obiang Nguema read a statement on state television TVGE contending the explosion was due to the "negligent handling of dynamite," according to The Associated Press.

The defense ministry released a statement late Sunday saying that a fire in a weapons depot in the barracks caused the explosion of high-caliber ammunition, the AP reported.

The health ministry first reported there were 17 fatalities, but Nguema, in his statement, said that 15 people were killed. The defense ministry said in a statement later that the death toll was 20, according to the AP.

The health ministry said three hospitals were treating 420 injured individuals as of 8:40 p.m. local time. Around midnight Monday local time, the defense ministry said there were 600 hospitalized, the AP reported.

ABC News' Joshua Hoyos contributed to this report.

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